Our Story

THE INSPIRATION

I love the power of the imagination and I love being creative. So after eighteen years of being creative inside big companies, I had a growing urge to make something all my own…something that had meaning.

Like many of us, years went by as I was working away. I found myself contemplating my purpose in life more over time. One day I asked myself again. What is the purpose of life? On this occasion I was with a wise man [my brother in-law]. I always considered him one of the happiest people I have come to know. He actually had an answer, and it was one that I will never forget.

What he said was this…”You don’t know? There is no purpose to life.” And at that moment I felt sad. I rejected this idea instantaneously. Then he said this…“It’s what you do with your life that gives it purpose”. I don’t know if he was quoting someone or if he is just that good, but it was inspiring to challenge myself to think about what I wanted to create.

THE EXPLORATION

So I asked myself some questions. What am I passionate about? What IS my purpose? I have always created stories and art, and I love learning, but the purpose is the message I want to share with the world, which is simple.  We hear it alot, but we don’t always do it.  The message is about  slowing down, appreciating the moment and being thankful for what we have all around us. The love of life, freedom and America are things to embrace everyday. And the person that reminds me of that is my biggest love of all, American Pit Bull Terrier rescue dog, Big Sil [who is snoring on a pillow as I write this]. And yes, he is a person…in a dog body.

Big Sil thoroughly enjoys life ever minute. He is so happy. He truly lives in the moment. He understands and appreciates more than anyone, the value of a happy greeting, a mid-day nap, and the importance of daily affection and cuddling. Most of all, he loves discovering and adventuring to new places.

Therefore, I create stories with a purpose, to help kids embrace today, imagine and discover adventures, just like Big Sil.  My stories remind us to enjoy life right here, right now. The Adventures of Big Sil children’s books are all about inventing an adventure, and through that adventure, learning about geography with fun facts about our American cities. The stories are a message about exploring the simple, fun and wonderful things right here around us in life, across America.

THE ADVENTURE

The writing and creating of The Adventures of Big Sil took several years. Through those years I sought out and collaborated with other entrepreneurial individuals who were creating their own destinies in life and sharing their passion with the world. I had the pleasure of meeting amazing illustrators, photographers, writers, self-publishers, website builders and more.

Through this adventure I rediscovered my own talents and worked with many inspirational people, who shared their gifts in the making of The Adventures of Big Sil. My stories are also a story about igniting your own creative adventures in life, following your passion and sharing your unique talent and creations with the world.

 

 

 

I love all dogs, but I have never met a more loving, cuddly and smart being as Big Sil. However, pit bulls can be stubborn, hard headed, and they are strong, energetic dogs. They require the right kind of attentive, patient owner, but pit bull lovers will tell you, it’s the most rewarding experience ever. I plan to build a world of positivity around Big Sil and other pit bulls starting with donating a portion of the proceeds from these books to pit bull charity. My dream is to be part of positive change and if I can do that in any small way, it would bring great purpose to my life.

The making of The Adventures of Big Sil has helped me realize my own creation, and like the message of the books, I have imagined possibilities and jumped into new adventures.  And so now I imagine a continuation of that story.  I imagine building a castle. This castle will be for rescued pit bulls, and I will return these great dogs to their former glory. I will call it Pit Bull Mansion.  Happy dogs will run freely all around, spreading their happiness. That is what I strive for, and that is the story behind The Adventures of Big Sil.

THE MOTIVATION

Most of all, my children’s books were inspired by the adventurous spirit, friendship and unconditional love of Big Sil, my lovable, huggable American Pit Bull Terrier. Big Sil was rescued from Paws, a shelter in Montclair, NJ and little is known about why he was abandoned. He was nine months old when he was adopted.

Once considered “America’s Dog”, the pit bull is one of the most abandoned dogs today. According to the ASPCA, 3.9 million dogs enter shelters each year. A visit to most shelters will reveal the pit bull as one of the most abandoned dog breeds. One of Big Sil’s goals is to resurrect positivity toward pit bulls.

Big Sil taught me a lot, for which I am thankful. There are days many of us have where we question life’s purpose and have to deal with stress, hardship, and well…life. I’ve had a lot of them and I haven’t always been happy. But when I come home to Big Sil, he greats me in a way that makes it all go away. He reminds me to be thankful for the moment and to great others that I love with equal enthusiasm each time I see them. He came from a bad situation and he overcame adversity…and he is happy. When I am sad, he puts his head on my lap. And he gives me his paw. I hold it. The world gets better. And we seek out a new adventure.

 

 

BY A.J. BENNETT